NYFW 2018 Runway Jewelry: Jonathan Simkhai x Ileana Makri



Fashion and jewelry designers have a long tradition of collaborating on runway shows. It’s how Elsa Peretti made a name for herself, creating silver bud vase pendants (a variation on the design is still in production today) for the runway presentations of Halston and Giorgio Saint Angelo around 1974. (Halston even attended Peretti’s first meeting with Tiffany & Co. to discuss the line she would create for the company.) And Robert Lee Morris’s custom designs for Donna Karan’s shows in the 1980s helped both names achieve enormous commercial and editorial success.

When fashion designer Jonathan Simkhai and Ileana Makri decided to team up on the jewelry for the former’s FW18 runway show last week, they effectively struck a balance between Makri’s mystical sensibility and Simkhai’s inspiration: the Gibson Girl-as-suffragette, a symbol of both incredible beauty and fierce rebellion.

Simkhai x EyeM Ileana Makri 16Courtesy of Jonathan Simkhai

Led by oversized sterling silver, or gold-plated, earrings, this special edition of Eye M, Makri’s fashion line (she also has a fine jewelry line, including a capsule with Diamonds With a Story) is defined by amorphous, organic silhouettes.

Simkhai x EyeM Ileana Makri 10 Shawn BrackbillCourtesy of Shawn Brackbill for Jonathan Simkhai

Makri loves to play with symbols and iconography and used jumbo baroque pearls to subtly reinforce Simkhai’s Gibson Girl theme—pearls are the ultimate in ladylike femininity, but here they’re an emblem of something radical and defiant. No “pink pussy hat” required.

Other earrings feature stones like snowflake obsidian, rose quartz, and zehar mohra serpentine, and dimpled red jasper the size of walnuts. And while there were no blousy, voluminous updos à la artist Charles Dana Gibson’s famous portrait series, the runway models donned the earrings as mismatched pairs, a popular way to buck tradition (and a staple of Eye M by Ileana Makri’s core collection).

See more Jonathan Simkhai x Eye M by Ileana Makri jewelry highlights below.

Simkhai x EyeM Ileana Makri 2Courtesy of Jonathan Simkhai

Simkhai x EyeM Ileana Makri 3 Shawn BrackbillCourtesy of Shawn Brackbill for Jonathan Simkhai

Simkhai x EyeM Ileana Makri 8 Shawn BrackbillCourtesy of Shawn Brackbill for Jonathan Simkhai

Simkhai x EyeM Ileana Makri 12Courtesy of Jonathan Simkhai

Simkhai x EyeM Ileana Makri 13Courtesy of Jonathan Simkhai

Simkhai x EyeM Ileana Makri 15Courtesy of Jonathan Simkhai

Simkhai x EyeM Ileana Makri 22Courtesy of Jonathan Simkhai

(Top image: Courtesy of Shawn Brackbill for Jonathan Simkhai)

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All That Glitters writer